Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Australia’s clean transition to renewable energy – theme for January 2017

energy-transition

The whole point of renewable energy is that it is clean. And, for sure, the major fuels – sun and wind – are undoubtedly clean. However, renewable energy does require some components – rare earths – that certainly have a dirty radioactive  history, and may still have a dirty radioactive present.

rare-earths-pollution-ChinaTwo notorious historic examples of pollution from the production of rare earths are the Bukit Merah  project in Malaysia , and China’s project in Inner Mongolia

China is now controlling   rare earths’ production in a cleaner way.  but it would be naïve and simplistic to assume that its pollution problems have completely gone away.

Meanwhile Australian companies, too, are mining and processing rare earths. Lynas, in Malaysia, has had a history pf inadequate management of radioactive wastes, but now has improved its practices. https://www.lynascorp.com/Pages/Environment.aspx.  Greenland Minerals and Energy, about to mine rare earths in Greenland, is criticised for unsatisfactory planning for its radioactive waste tailings. http://arcticjournal.com/oil-minerals/1583/uranium-opponents-look-other-sectors-job-growth.

3 main approaches are being taken to this problem:


rare-earth-recyclingDesign for recycling. This is particularly appropriate for wind turbines.

Reduction in consumption of rare earths . This is not applicable to renewable energy, but rather to the rampant and wasteful  consumption of modern electronic gadgets –  often unnecessary, all too often a part of our throwaway culture. http://chinawaterrisk.org/resources/analysis-reviews/can-we-build-a-clean-smart-future-on-toxic-rare-earths/

clean-technologyDesign for green technologies that don’t require rare earths

Of course, like all modern industrial technologies, mining and manufacture and transport  of renewables do mean environmental disturbance.  But this is a balancing act, considering the environmental benefits of renewable energy.

The nuclear lobby pretends that renewable energy is environmentally dirty. In the 21st Century, it is vital that we acknowledge environmental problems, including that fact of radioactive waste from rare earths, and make sure that the production processes are clean, even if this adds to their cost.

January 14, 2017 Posted by | Christina themes, energy, rare earths | Leave a comment

Australia’s future energy – clean renewables, not dirty nuclear or coal – theme for January 2017

Renewable energy transition is Australia’s future, whether Prime Minister Turnbull likes it or not.

Aust renewable energy

Fossil fuel industries tell the Turnbull government what to think, and what to do. That’s why the government plans to axe the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC).

However, renewable energy IS happening in Australia.  Renewables with energy storage, are hereAustralia can get to zero emissions, as rooftop solar booms. Report finds 100% renewable grid plan“reliable, robust and stable” Energy expert Giles Parkinson has exposed the  misinformation on rooftop solar and battery storage

While the Federal govt dithers, some States develop their own Renewable Energy Targets. Australia’s electricity industry strongly calls for a carbon price, and switch to clean energy. General Electric supports State-based renewable energy targets. EnergyAustralia is investing $1.5 billion in new wind and solar projects 

This website continues to follow developments – see the category Energy.  Here are some of the latest items:

Australian Capital Territory (ACT). Canberra shows off its renewable energy success. Australia’s first sun-tracking solar farm opens at Majura.

Victoria. A NEW wave of wind farm developments is sweeping this State. New 116-turbine wind farm for the Wimmera. Solar energy park is seeking co-operative venture with sheep farming! Solar cooling systems in Echuca and Ballarat.

South Australia. Port Augusta is attracting solar energy developers.  South Australia’s home solar batteries provided electricity throughout recent blackout.  Sundrop Farms – desert solar powered agriculture -now internationally applauded.

Western Australia. Western Australian town to host large renewable energy grid.  Retirees trading solar power. Solar switch for one of Australia’s biggest companies funded by community. Carnegie Wave Energy to build its first commercial wave plant in ENGLAND

Queensland. A month  ahead of schedule, Queensland’s huge new solar farm is up and running. Queensland govt’s push for solar power on all government buildings.

New South Wales. Sydney students pioneer a shared solar and battery system for apartment block.

Tasmania. Tidal energy – Australian Maritime College launches new turbine in Tamar River

December 26, 2016 Posted by | Christina themes, energy | 5 Comments

Australia’s nuclear history – scandals and successes

text-from-the-archivesAustralia has a secret and scandalous nuclear history. But at the same time, Australia has a fine history of successes by the nuclear free movement. Aboriginals have been at the forefront, but not alone, as Australia also has a proud record of environmental and anti nuclear activism.

Australia history

From the archives. Each week, this site will be reposting items from the past. Lest we forget:

U.S. military bases made Australia a nuclear target

Australia feared nuclear attack over US ties: archives ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) Emma Rodgers 1 Jan 2011, Malcolm Fraser’s cabinet was warned in 1980 that boosting its military ties with the US could put Australia at risk of a nuclear attack and expose it to involvement it in American operations contrary to its national interest, secret cabinet documents show. Continue reading

December 16, 2016 Posted by | Christina themes, history | Leave a comment

Nuclear history – from the archives – theme for December 2016

Today, journalism is in  a sorry mess. Yet still, there are courageous examples of investigative journalism –  such as the McClatchy report on nuclear workers’ health.   All too often, revealing and informative reports on nuclear matters are forgotten, as celebrity sex scandals and sport dominate the mass media.

This month we will remember and refresh stories from our archives.  It’s important that, while we look at current events, these events are illuminated by knowledge of their history.  Especially today, as the nuclear industry struggles desperately to survive – and to portray itself as “clean, green and of course, peaceful”, the truth of its dirty history must be remembered.

history-pics

December 10, 2016 Posted by | Christina themes | Leave a comment

From Australian nuclear archives – lest we forget – theme for December 2016

text-from-the-archivesFor December 2016, this website will be republishing significant articles from past issues. Historic articles are interesting in themselves, but more importantly, give insight into current problems in Australia.

australia-history-1

Aboriginal history – and what the global nuclear industry has done to Aboriginal people is the most important issue in Australia.

It is not, however, the only issue.  The effects of the nuclear industry, in particular, of uranium mining, have not only permanently trashed some land, and threatened precious water, but have also impacted on health of white Australians , as well as black.

In Australian politics, there has been a sorry history of kow towing to the British government and nuclear industry, and to the American.

So called “Australian” companies e.g BHP Billiton ( 75% English owned) and Heathgate  (owned by USA weapons maker General Atomics) portray the false idea that nuclear is an Australian industry.

Australia had a proud history of promoting nuclear disarmament – trashed more recently in its readiness to sell uranium to India ( non signatory to the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty) and to Ukraine – a corruption basket case).

 

November 23, 2016 Posted by | Christina themes, history | Leave a comment

Politics – the Trump effect – theme for November 2016

The world is still reeling from the news that Americans have elected the narcissistic and unpredictable Donald Trump. The man has spent two years blustering his way into this role. He has made dramatic and unnerving pronouncements, which he will probably not be able to carry out.

Still, the world is left with an America ruled by  a pro nuclear, climate change denying Republican government, and the  likelihood of other national governments following America in that direction.

At least, the Trump election is galvanising opposition in USA. And, very diplomatically spoken leaders such as Angela Merkel, are indicating that they will not be swayed by the climate denialist forces.

trump-tightrope-2016

Across the planet, national leaders with nuclear power are beholden to the nuclear industry. Even more so, when they have nuclear weapons. Also across the planet, the people are fearful of nuclear weapons, and more and more often now, opposed to nuclear power, with its dangers, its radioactive wastes, and its ever climbing costs.

The well-being of the people, particularly indigenous people, comes last,  way behind the politicians’ subservience to the defense and nuclear industries.

Still the nuclear marketing push continues, backed by political leaders, who hope that the next nuclear catastrophe won’t happen in their country, and during their term of office. That catastrophe will happen, perhaps in 40 years’ time, perhaps next week.

November 19, 2016 Posted by | Christina themes | 1 Comment

Australian nuclear politics – theme for November 2016

Across the planet, national leaders with nuclear power are beholden to the nuclear industry. Even more so, when they have nuclear weapons. Also across the planet, the people are fearful of nuclear weapons, and more and more often now, opposed to nuclear power, with its dangers, its radioactive wastes, and its ever climbing costs.

The well-being of the people, particularly indigenous people, comes last,  way behind the politicians’ subservience to the defense and nuclear industries.

Still the nuclear marketing push continues, backed by political leaders, who hope that the next nuclear catastrophe won’t happen in their country, and during their term of office. That catastrophe will happen, perhaps in 40 years’ time, perhaps next week.

politics-tightrope-2016

Meanwhile, Australia’s politicians play a critical part in the global  nuclear deception of the people. The Australian government led the way in attempts to vote down the United Nations move toward nuclear disarmament. Australia maintains the unnecessary Lucas heights nuclear reactor – as a foot in the door for the nuclear industry.

Right now, both Labor and Liberal politicians quietly support the extraordinary plan of South Australia’s Labor Premier Jay Weatherill, to help the nuclear industry in its determined plan to market nuclear reactors to South Asia.

This nuclear marketing cannot succeed unless the nuclear companies can promise the Asian countries that there is a solution to the highly radioactive wastes. Premier Weatherill is helping the nuclear salesmen, by promising that solution –  “you can send your highly radioactive trash to Australia”

The nuclear weapons industry is pleased, too. The waste import scheme would be the first step in making South Australia a nuclear hub – then there’ll be nuclear submarines, and no doubt yet another Australian nuclear target set up, as USA expands its military locations, with South Australia now joining in.

November 1, 2016 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Christina themes, politics | Leave a comment

Australian Politics and the Machinations of the Nuclear Lobby – theme for November 16

The global and Australian nuclear lobbies will not give up easily. So the South Australian Liberal Party came out against Labor Premier Weatherill’s nuclear waste import plan. So, amazingly, despite the pro nuke pressure, Weatherill’s Nuclear Citizens Jury pronounced a firm “NO” to the plan.

hydra-nuclearHydra, in ancient Greek mythology, was able to grow new heads, every time one head was cut off. The nuclear monster is the same.

The South Australian Labor Party postponed debate on changing the party’s nuclear policy, and of weakening or removing the Nuclear Waste Storage Facility Prohibition Act South Australia was debated.

Poor doomed Premier Weatherill continues his pro nuclear push. Why? In what way is he so beholden to the nuclear industry?

The pretense continues, that this in merely a small “South Australian” matter continues.News-Limited1

But it’s a NATIONAL matter – kept well under wraps by the subservient mainstream media – especially the Murdochracy.

Lucas-wastesThe plan for the unnecessary national nuclear waste dump in the Flinders Ranges continues, with the pretense that it’ s for “medical” wastes – when it’ sreally for intermediate level waste originating from the Lucas Heights nuclear reactor.  – a foot in the door for the nuclear expansion dream in South Australia?

Still – the counter movement for a nuclear free Australia is also building.  http://www.anfa.org.au/

logo ANFA

Nuclear Fuel Cycle Watch South Australia
Nuclear Citizens Jury Watch South Australia
No high level international nuclear waste dump in south australia
Fight To Stop Nuclear Waste Dump In Flinders Ranges SA

October 24, 2016 Posted by | Christina themes, politics, South Australia | 2 Comments

Used nuclear fuel – not a “resource”, not an “asset – just garbage- theme for October 16

You’ve heard of “stranded assets”, for example – things like coal mines that are no longer economic, and the owners can’t sell them.

That’s bad enough. But what about STRANDED WASTES?  This is the horrible reality already going on in America – the land that pioneered the (?) great nuclear power industry.  They are already stuck with radioactive trash in its various forms – liquid and solid.

They’ve even got legislation to try to unravel who’s responsible for the toxic trash –  H.R.5632 – Stranded Nuclear Waste Accountability Act of 2016

The nuclear lobby bravely puts up its latest gimmicky ideas for nuclear reactors that should “eat the wastes” . But even those reactors would still leave highly toxic radioactive trash, and the experiments in nuclear reprocessing are turning out to be super expensive duds, such as Japan’s Monju project.

Why on earth would we keep on making radioactive trash, in view of this pressing problem?

stranded-asset

October 8, 2016 Posted by | Christina themes, wastes | 1 Comment

Australia could be stuck with STRANDED NUCLEAR WASTES- theme for October 2016

Australia is in the unique position of being the only country in the world planning to invite in NUCLEAR WASTES.     Thus Australia invites in the very real prospect of being landed with STRANDED WASTES.

The South Australian Nuclear Royal Commission’s idea is to import containers of high level wastes, that will sit somewhere for many decades, before the touted nuclear waste facility is even built.

Then when something goes wrong with that massive planned facility, and the nuclear companies go bust, and the facility doesn’t even get built –  South Australia will have masses of dirty great containers of radioactive trash –  with nowhere for it to go –  (and no more money in sight)

stranded

September 24, 2016 Posted by | Christina themes, South Australia, wastes | 1 Comment

NUCLEAR’s WHOPPING CLIMATE LIE – theme for September 2016

goebbels-josephIf you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. A lie told once remains a lie but a lie told a thousand times becomes the truth ”

Dr Goebbels would be delighted with the nuclear lobby’s lie that nuclear power is zero carbon and will fix climate change. He would be even more delighted with the current success of this lie.

“Think of the press as a great keyboard on which the government can play.”

The failing nuclear industry is fighting for its life. It now pitches its salvation on its claim to halt climate change.

Even if  that were true (which it isn’t) the world would have to construct several thousand ‘conventional’marketing-pigs-trough reactors, or several millions of Small Modular Reactors (SMRs) very quickly, within a decade or two.

How is it that politicians , media, academics have swallowed this lie?

climate-its-a-lie

September 24, 2016 Posted by | Christina themes, climate change - global warming | 6 Comments

Nuclear power as climate treatment – a cure worse than the disease – theme for September 16

Let’s pretend that nuclear power is really “zero carbon” (which it isn’t)

Let’s pretend that thousands of “conventional” nuclear reactors, or millions of little geewhiz new Small Modular Nuclear Reactors could be set up within just  a few years, in time to be effective against climate change ( we know they would take from about 70 years at the earliest)

Do we need a dirty,  dangerous, unsafe, land and water polluting industry as an environmental cure?

(Especially when clean renewable energy and energy efficiency can be set up quickly)

dangerous-medicine

September 10, 2016 Posted by | Christina themes | Leave a comment

Australia must not fall for the nuclear industry’s lie about climate change – theme for September 16

The global nuclear lobby’s current favourite lie is the one about climate change

pyramid of lies Climate

Australia will be greatly impacted by climate change, yet Australia is an international pariah when it comes to acting to stop climate change.

Compounding this problem is the global nuclear lobby’s push to make Australia the key player in  a new ‘nuclear renaissance’. The plan is to encourage South Asian nations to set up nuclear power, with South Australia as their toilet for nuclear wastes.

The last thing that we need is to direct money and energy to the nuclear industry, and away from renewable energy and energy efficiency.

 

August 31, 2016 Posted by | Christina themes, climate change - global warming, secrets and lies | Leave a comment

Australia’s betrayal of the global nuclear disarmament movement -theme for August 16

This week, sadly, I, and many others have to report that Australia’s history of doublespeak on nuclear disarmament  has now gone even further down the path of promoting nuclear weapons.

The Australian government did this by sabotaging the final day of the UN Open-ended Working Group on taking forward multilateral nuclear disarmament negotiations.  It did this by attempted to derail a ban on nuclear weapons at a UN meeting on disarmament, by single-handedly forcing a vote on a report that had been expected to pass unanimously.

thumbs-down Australia’s contribution.  More detail on this can be found in several recent articles quoted on this website
world-nuclear-weapons-free

August 27, 2016 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Christina themes, politics international, weapons and war | Leave a comment

NUCLEAR POWER, NUCLEAR WEAPONS and WAR – theme for August 2016

Now I  am become death, the destroyer of worlds.” – J. Robert Oppenheimer, scientist and “father of the bomb”

On the morning of 6 August 1945, the first atomic bomb, code-named “Little Boy” was dropped by the United States on the Japanese city of Hiroshima. Three days later the United States dropped a plutonium bomb code-named “Fat Man” on the city of Nagasaki. 140,000 people (almost all civilians) died in Hiroshima either immediately or within a few days. Deaths in Nagasaki were about 74,000. The survivors lived on, some with horrifying burns scars, some to die of radiation-induced illnesses

Following the war, many scientists involved in the atomic bomb project, turned to the “atoms for peace” program – nuclear power. They did this partly out of guilt, partly to continue to be employed. (Where would a nuclear physicist get a job, otherwise? Well, some were happy to continue with nuclear weapons development)

Nuclear weapons are an inevitable by-product of the nuclear power industry

August 6, 2016 Posted by | Christina themes | 1 Comment